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Spotlight on Strategies:XO let's go

Pair students - one X and one O. Using a noughts and crosses board, watch the video. Students then take it in turns to talk for one minute about what they understood from the video, placing a X or O on the board. They cannot repeat any information. Repeat shortening the time to 30 seconds then 15 seconds.

Big idea

"I'm X, you're O, let's go" is a paired, verbal fluency instructional strategy that activates thinking. It allows students to share orally with a partner what they've learned from a lesson of any format type, such as a video, reading, presentation, discussion, and even a song. As students take their turn at speaking, their partners will be actively involved by listening intently, so they do not repeat anything their partner says. This strategy can also act as an assessment for learning process during which the teacher can check for students' strengths and weaknesses in their understanding of given topics.

Overview of strategy



video segment, reading passage, or other content resource, paper, pen/pencil

  1. Pair students: one as student X and the other as student O.
  2. Have each pair create a noughts and crosses board on a piece of blank paper and explain the aim is to beat their partner at noughts and crosses. 
  3. Explain to students that they will have a total of three and a half minutes to talk to each other about what they understood from the video or reading passage and that they will need to listen carefully so they do not repeat what the other person says.
  4. Student X begins by speaking for one minute about what s/he learned and then places an X anywhere on the noughts and crosses board.
  5. Student O then has one minute to verbalise what s/he learned from the video. Student O should not repeat anything that student X shared. He or she can then place an O on the noughts and crosses board.
  6. Repeat this process two more times, each time shortening the time limits. For example:
    • Student X will then have 30 seconds to share again what s/he learned from the video (without repeating details), and then student O does the same.
    • Finally, student X will have 15 seconds to talk about something s/he learned from the video, followed by student O having the last 15 seconds to wrap-up the conversation about what was learned.
  7. Make sure that students understand that if a student repeats what the other has already shared, his or her partner gets to select where they should place the X or O. The goal is to win noughts and crosses against a partner as students complete this activity.
Sum it up

This activity is an assessment of learning and also a fun way for students to review material they've learned. It helps the teacher check in with students to discover the strengths and weaknesses in their understanding. Be sure to watch the time and announce to students when time is up at each interval.

More ideas

Ask students reflect on their learning and then share their comments on a classroom blog.

special thanks to Terra-Lee Gratton (Alberta, Canada) for submitting this strategy.

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